BEIJING, July 21 (Xinhua) -- China again was labeled as the "World's No. 1". This time, the world's most populous country became the largest energy consumer, beating out the United States in a recent report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
However, China promptly rejected this title on Tuesday. Zhou Xi'an, director-general of the Comprehensive Department of the National Energy Administration, said the estimates from the IEA were not credible.
According to the IEA, China consumed the equivalent of 2.252 billion tonnes of oil in 2009, 0.4 percent more than the 2.17 billion tonnes used in the United States.
However, China's National Bureau of Statistics said in a report in February that China's energy consumption last year stood at the equivalent of 3.1 billion tonnes of standard coal, which was equal to 2.132 billion tonnes of oil.
Even the western media admits the wide gap between the world's largest developed economy and the largest developing one.
"The United States remains the biggest oil consumer by a wide margin, going through roughly 19 million barrels a day, on average. China, at about 9.2 million barrels a day, runs a distant second," the Wall street Journal website reported.
It is common sense that China, with its 1.3 billion people and rapidly developing economy, will see an increase in industrial and civil energy consumption as its industrialization expands and the people's living standard improves. Actually, that's the path taken by all developed countries following the industrial age.
The option for China is to endeavor to balance the growth of its economy and environmental protection while finding methods to save energy. China's efforts in this regard have been seen by all.
Facing such statistics issued by the IEA, which is as a member of the developed-club of countries, and is not in line with the real situation. We should be on guard with those exaggerated statistics, and what's more, prevent the issue from being politicized.